Today, a special treat… Q&A with FedEx’s Michael L. Ducker. Michael is chief operating officer for FedEx Express and president of its International Division. Many thanks to Michael for his time and his thoughtful perspective on the challenges facing global trade professionals. Note that there’s much more after the break.
Q: While executives often think about FedEx when they need to send documents around the world, they may not think of FedEx when it’s time to send goods around the world. Can you describe the types of services that FedEx provides to companies engaged in global trade?
MD: Documents are really just a small part of what we do. FedEx is the world’s largest express transportation company, and our global air-and-ground network delivers 3.5 million packages and 111 million pounds of freight every day to over 220 countries and territories.
FedEx has invested heavily over the years to build a portfolio to meet long-haul inter-continental, short-haul cross border and domestic inter-regional shipping needs. This allows our customers to tailor shipping solutions to their specific needs through time-sensitive and cost-effective solutions.
Consumers are familiar with our document and small-parcel shipping, but it’s worth pointing out some of the solutions we’ve adapted for specific market sectors, such as automotive, healthcare, industrial machinery and high-tech, among others.
Take healthcare, for example. The FedEx Healthcare Industry Solutions offer secure, reliable, temperature-controlled delivery for health-related products, including pharmaceuticals, which involve time sensitive, real-time visibility, and accurate documentation.
The apparel industry is another area where we offer targeted solutions. Our supply chain solutions support customers’ needs and assist in product flow between suppliers, manufacturers and stores. Speed to market is essential in this market, and FedEx helps provide a level of connectivity and access to the global marketplace that ensures business success. For instance, FedEx helped Brazilian swimsuit designer Fabiola Molina increase sales 230% in one year thanks to the reliability and speed of the network.
Or take critical freight. FedEx Custom Critical recently donated resources to rescue 25,000 sea turtle eggs by relocating them from the Gulf Coast to the Florida’s Atlantic Coast to avoid the loss of the year’s cohort because of the oil spill. They deployed vehicles specially equipped with features like satellite tracking, self-inflating tires, temperature control, and backup power, to move the eggs safely to their new home.
Q: Global trade fell precipitously during the Great Recession, but has since bounced back. Looking ahead, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the trajectory of global trade? Why?